Ninja Auto IQ Blender Review (BL480)

A compact personal blender is a great way of dramatically increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables.

Throw the ingredients in, let the machine blitz the contents, then pop the container off and enjoy.

Ninja’s proved a very popular brand in recent years, thanks to some clever Auto IQ tech that handles the entire blending cycle for you. The end result is a perfectly smooth drink, without you having to do any of the hard work.

In this Ninja Auto IQ review, I’m taking a closer look at the BL482 personal blender.

Sale
Ninja BL480D Nutri 1000 Watt Auto-IQ Base for…
  • Auto IQ technology optimizes ninja: Pro extractor blades and power to deliver powerful nutrient and…
  • Powerful nutrient and vitamin extraction provides great tasting, nutritious beverages
  • 1000 watt motor has the power to crush through whole fruits, vegetables and ice in seconds

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About The BL480 Ninja IQ Blender

The Nutri Ninja Auto IQ BL480 is designed for people who want to be able to whip up a quick and convenient smoothie, using a compact appliance.

Despite being quite a relatively small device, the Auto IQ BL480 features a 1,000 watt motor which is more then enough power to shred frozen ingredients, ice, or very tough ingredients.

Many countertop blenders don’t reach this sort of power level, so you’re not going to find yourself unable to shred any of your favorites.

This particular portable appliance also features Ninja’s Auto IQ technology. All you need to do is add your ingredients, select either of the two IQ settings, and the blender will pause, blitz and pulse the contents accordingly.

The end result is a creamy smoothie, perfectly blended for the ingredients you’ve used. If you want more manual control though, you can bypass the Auto IQ system altogether.

It comes with a pair of cups and lids, with the cups acting as the container while the blending actually takes place.

It’s a very simple but clever piece of kit that’s proved immensely popular in recent years.

Who’s It For?

The Nutri Ninja portable blender is designed for people who want to make quick smoothies in small portions.

The Auto IQ tech that Ninja’s famous for takes all the guess work out of blending cycles, and obliterates the ingredients you feed it automatically.

It’s a very effective, powerful tool that makes it easy to dramatically increases your intake of fruit and vegetables.

Who’s It Not For?

If you want to prepare larger smoothie batches, you’ll find this Ninja machine lacking. You can’t make hot soups with it either, as the containers aren’t designed for higher temperatures.

Instead, look to something like the Nutri Ninja Personal and Countertop Blender. You get the same portable cups, but a much bigger blending jar.

Pros

  • A very affordable entry level blender.
  • Excellent performance from a powerful motor.
  • Auto IQ system is extremely convenient for quick, effective blending.
  • Manual and pulse options allow for more manual control.
  • Easy to clean up & dishwasher-safe.
  • Highly portable.

Cons

  • Not built to last a particularly long time.
  • Blade unit silicon seal is fiddly to remove but requires regular cleaning.
  • You can’t blend hot ingredients with this blender, and the containers aren’t microwave-safe either.

Auto IQ & Manual Controls

The real magic of this machine is found in the Auto IQ technology built into it.

You have two Auto IQ buttons to play with on this blender:

  • Auto IQ Blend – This is designed for softer ingredients like fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Auto IQ Ultra Blend – The second Auto IQ option is for harder ingredients like frozen fruits, ice and nuts.

Once you’ve picked the appropriate Auto IQ setting for the ingredients at hand, the blender takes care of the rest!

Push the button and the motor will work through a series of blending, pausing and pulsing cycles until the consistency of the blend is just right.

It’s quite fun watching it the first time! Here’s a video that shows off this clever tech:

I really like the way this works away in the background while you get on with other tasks. The whole point of these machines is to help you get a healthy drink inside you when you’re in a rush.

Expect the basic Auto IQ blend to take around 45 seconds, while the Ultra blend takes about a minute. That’s not too bad at all at this price point.

As well as the Auto IQ settings there are a couple of other buttons on the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ.

The first of these is a very simple on/off switch. Turn it on and the blender will keep going until you hit the button again. There’s even a timer on the display so you can track how long it’s been going.

Alternatively you can use the Pulse function. Put simply, this will put the blender into action until you remove your finger from the button. This is good for doing some very rough vegetable chopping, and again a timer helps you keep tabs on how long you’ve been blending for.

A few tips you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Don’t blend hot liquids with this thing. The containers really aren’t designed to operate at high temperatures.
  • You can’t microwave the containers either! With that said, you can always blitz your veggies to make a soup, then transfer the liquid to a microwave-safe container for heating.
  • I don’t recommend using the Ultra Blend mode for anything other than frozen fruit, vegetables and ice. This mode heats the contents up significantly, which will result in an unpleasantly warm smoothie if you’re using fresh produce.

Motor & Blades

The 1,000 watt motor on the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ is powerful enough to crush ice, blend frozen fruits and vegetables, and basically demolish anything you feed it!

I don’t think it’s going to replace your dedicated kitchen blender any time soon, but it’s good enough to tackle other tasks from time to time.

If you want to make salsas and sauces, or give small vegetables a quick rough chop, this small blender is just about up to the job. As I say though, don’t expect it to be a full-time replacement for a dedicated food processor.

If you do work the motor too hard then an auto shut-off mode will kick in to protect the blender. When this happens it takes around 15 minutes for the appliance to cool down enough.

The motor’s there to support some very sharp, rust-proof, high quality stainless steel blades.

These pro extractor blades are not going to last forever, but they’ll stay sharp enough for at least the duration of the standard 1 year warranty that comes with the blender.

Design

The materials used in the construction of the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ feel pretty sturdy overall.

I do know that some people have had issues with the little plastic latches that lock the cups onto the blender base.

They can wear down quite easily, but as long as you’re gentle with them I think you can avoid this problem.

Cups

Two containers are included with the Auto IQ, and they each serve as the actual blender jar during preparation.

The first, smaller cup is the 18 ounce Nutri Ninja Cup. The second is a third larger at 24 ounces.

Both are made from a type of BPA-free plastic called Eastman Tritan. This is hard-wearing and durable stuff, and you can also grab extra cups online if you want to prepare a few drinks in advance.

You also get a pair of lids with the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ, which seal up pretty tightly if you’re looking to throw a smoothie in your gym bag, for example.

Specs

Here’s a quick overview of the full design specs for the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ blender:

  • Color: Black / Silver
  • Material: BPA-free Eastman Tritan
  • 15.5 (H) x 6.0 (D) x 6.0 (W) inches
  • Motor Power: 1,000 Watts

In The Box

So you know what to expect when you order this blender, here’s a complete list of what’s included in the box.

  • 1000 Watt motor base with Auto-iQ technology
  • Regular 24 oz. Nutri Ninja Cup
  • Small 18 oz. Nutri Ninja Cup
  • Sip and Seal Lids
  • Pro Extractor Blade Unit
  • Recipe Book
  • Instruction Book
  • Quick Start Guide

Ease of Use

It’s extremely easy to operate the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ.

First you add your ingredients to the blender container, then you screw the pro extractor blades on nice and tightly.

Once you’ve lined up the tabs on the cup with the tabs on the blender base, you can lock the whole system into place.

Choose the blending mode you want to use, let the Auto IQ do its thing, then unlock the cup by twisting it out of the base.

Unscrew the blade unit, pop your lid on if you’re taking your smoothie on the go, and that’s all you have to do!

Cleaning

As with all blenders you have the option of using a sort of “auto clean” function with the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ. This means you don’t have to carefully clean the sharp blades.

Rather than adding ingredients to the jar, you just fill it to around halfway with warm water and a few splashes of dish soap.

Use the pulse button on the contents for anywhere up to 60 seconds and you should find the blending motion does a good enough job of cleaning both the cup and the blade unit.

If that’s not quite done the trick and you need to clean it more thoroughly, everything that comes with the blender is dishwasher-safe (except the motor base, of course!)

There’s one thing to be aware of with the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ though.

There’s a silicon seal around the circumference of the blade unit. If you don’t give it a clean every now and then, it will get quite smelly, and there’s the risk of bacteria building up as well.

You don’t need to clean it all that often, but don’t ignore it altogether. Here’s a video I found useful for getting at the thing:

Alternatives

There’s a lot I really like about the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ, but there are other personal blenders that you might like to explore as well.

Here’s a quick overview of some of my favorite alternatives.

NutriBullet 1000 Watt Prime Edition

The NutriBullet – as made famous by all those informercials – is still one of the most popular personal blenders you can add to your collection of kitchenware.

Unlike Ninja’s blender you get actually get three cups with this blender – a standard 28 and 32 ounce cup, as well as a 32 ounce cup with a handle.

NutriBullet 1000 Watt PRIME Edition, 12-Piece…
  • Effortlessly pulverizes fruits, vegetables, superfoods, protein shakes, green smoothies, seeds, keto…
  • Powerful high-torque 1000-watt motor with auto shut off feature after optimum nutrient extraction
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe. Product is manufactured in compliance with US & Canadian Electrical…

The 28 ounce cup is made of insulated stainless steel, which keeps drinks cold for up to eight hours. It’s a nice upgrade on the standard plastic containers that come with most of these blenders.

As for performance, it’s about on a par with the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ. The 1000-watt motor is up to handling exactly the same tasks.

The actually blending process is a little primitive by comparison though. There’s no automatic blending tech here, instead you either pulse the ingredients, or lock the cup in place for hands-free blending.

Nutri Ninja Personal & Countertop Blender

This is a very good option if you want to make much larger batches of smoothies. It comes with a generous 72 ounce pitcher, alongside the 18, 24 and 32 ounce cups included with the more portable Nutri Ninja.

The 1200-watt motor has a little more oomph as well. At this kind of power rating you’ll start noticing a much faster blend, which is always helpful in the mornings.

Nutri Ninja Personal and Countertop Blender…
  • Auto IQ technology features timed, intelligent blending programs that do the work for you, no guesswork…
  • Xl 72 ounce total crushing blender pulverizes ice to snow in seconds for creamy frozen drinks and…
  • Nutri Ninja Pro extractor blades break down whole fruits, vegetables, ice and seeds for maximum nutrient…

You also get a few presets for handling specific blending tasks like smoothies and purees, as well as the standard Ninja Auto IQ tech.

I think this is the better choice if you’re looking for an all-round kitchen blender that can make more than just convenient smoothies.

Verdict

As a simple but powerful personal blender I was impressed in my review by the performance of the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ.

Not only does that motor absolutely pulverize anything you throw at it, the Auto IQ technology is also a really clever bit of tech. I think it really elevates this micro blender above the competition.

Sale
Ninja BL480D Nutri 1000 Watt Auto-IQ Base for…
  • Auto IQ technology optimizes ninja: Pro extractor blades and power to deliver powerful nutrient and…
  • Powerful nutrient and vitamin extraction provides great tasting, nutritious beverages
  • 1000 watt motor has the power to crush through whole fruits, vegetables and ice in seconds

Just make sure you treat it with a little TLC, as it’s not the most durable machine on the market. Be sure to give those blade seals a good clean from time to time as well.

Do that though and I think you’ll be very pleased with its pwerformance overall. It’s a well-priced, very effective way to make quick smoothies, and more than lives up to the Ninja reputation.

Click here to find out more about this blender, and find out how its owners have been getting on with it.

John Bedford

John Bedford

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